Friends, Romans…

Ok… I've been having some serious yeast issues lately.  I went to PP at the beginning of January for a general checkup/pap.  I asked her to check me for yeast because I'd been a little itchy.  She found some, gave me diflucan and all was good.  Until I about two weeks later when I noticed that obnoxious burning sensation again.  I was going in to get my IUD inserted, instead I came away with another dose of diflucan for my yeasties.  Everything was fine again for about a week..

And now, I'm itchy again.  I never really have the "typical" yeast infection symptoms – it's mostly just general itchiness around the vulva – no discharge to speak of. 

What the hell is wrong with me that I've had three yeast infections in a month?  Or are they not even yeasties?  The clinician at PP didn't see any evidence of BV, and I'm asymptomatic for it anyway.  I've been tested for STI's – all negative. 

Any insight?  What can I do?  I don't want to live off of diflucan! 

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20 Responses to I am a yeasty beastie

  1. Hteall says:

    Probiotics! Basically, there should be lactobacilli (friendly bacteria) in your vagina that create an acid environment. They like it, but yeast doesn’t. If your vaginal pH is too basic/alkaline, the yeast goes WHEE. (This is why antibiotics can trigger yeast infections; the antibiotics kill the friendly bacteria as well, and that lets the yeast get out of control.)

    If your vaginal pH is not overly basic/alkaline, then the itching may not actually be yeast. Still, that it went away when you took the diflucan is suggestive.

    Another thing to do is to treat any partners you have, as well. Penises, in particular, are quite able to pick up enough yeast to reinfect vaginas, without noticing anything more than maybe some dry skin.

    Good luck!

  2. Lrime says:

    Thank you! I’ve been getting more yogurt in my diet lately – looks like I need to move the yogurt down south. 🙂

    Thanks a bunch – I’ll grab some probiotics on the way home this evening. 🙂

  3. Ereoya says:

    Quick note: the probiotics aren’t really going to do anything unless they’re the refrigerated kind.

  4. Egneeva says:

    Does a yeast infection affect your pH or is it caused by it?

    Every vaginal pH test I’ve ever used has had a scale…pH SHOULD be at or around 4.5, including symptoms within a normal pH concludes a yeast infection while the higher the scale….bacterial vaginosis.

  5. SseNope says:

    It’s kind of both, I think. At the very least, periods (which lower the pH due to the blood) can trigger yeast infections. Also, reacidifying the vagina with apple cider vinegar douches can destabilize the BV too, without disrupting the lactobacilli. womanorium.com has sources on that one.

  6. AroNet says:

    I would second the yogurt idea but see if you can pick up some probiotics in Pill format, you do a course of around 10 days (1 pill a day) to rebuild your bacteria in your digestive system and that should help restore the balance of things.</p>

    Yogurt is great but you can not measure or guarantee how many living bacteria are in each tub of yogurt (by the way only natural/unsweetened yogurt is the most effective, the fruity sweet stuff hardly has any bacteria since I think the sugar kills it off). You would have to eat…liters and liters (gallons! If you’re in the USA) of yogurt to equal one probiotic pill. And it’s guaranteed a pill will contain millions of happy little bacteria!

    So on a day to day basis – yes, natural yogurt as part of a healthy diet.

    But to give that yeast a super kick in the butt I would really do a course of probiotics in pill format (aside from that I find it has helped reduce the amount of gas I’ve had from time to time and my lactose intolerance has become almost minimal and there are loads of other health benefits too! So ask your pharmacist or health food store what they recommend. There is usually something available for people who want to re-grow their stomach bacteria after a round of antibiotics so it is commonly available). And as has been mentioned before Lactobasilis type of probiotic is like the anti-yeast.

    Good luck!

  7. Ereoya says:

    Yeah, I take probiotics daily because I also take a low dose of antibiotics for my skin.

  8. SseNope says:

    Maybe you also want to try some vaginal suppositories of probiotics, then? We’re starting to learn that probiotics don’t actually recolonize the gut, they encourage and aid the gut bacteria for as long as you take the probiotic.

    Maybe the probiotics are propping up the gut bacteria and there’s not enough of the probiotics to influence the vaginal bacteria.

  9. Ereoya says:

    Oh, I’m not the OP! I was just saying, probiotics = good when you’re taking/have taken antibiotics.

  10. SseNope says:

    Oh whoops!

    And yeah. My sister was on antibiotics for a full year due to (what turned out not to be) MRSA, and she went through a full 32 oz tub of yogurt a week. If she skipped a day, she would get a raging yeast infection. FUN TIMES. I tried to get her to use probiotics instead or in addition, but the yogurt also meant that she was eating. Oh, college.

  11. AroNet says:

    I think thats true for Probiotics which are not of human origin. Because most commercially available probiotics are of plant or animal origin they help a lot with our digestion but are not ultimately suitable for colonization. They’re not found there naturally, so they don’t stick around. Regardless, the health benefits of probiotics of any kind are irrefutable.</p>

    Human strain probiotics are derived from the milk or intestines of a human, which means they are perfectly suitable for long term colonizing within our digestive system. I believe one strain of human derived probiotic is “Lactobacillus GG” but there are many others. My dietician has told me that you can find them at Whole Foods and other natural food stores. You just have to ask and many people simply aren’t aware of the difference/benefits. Obviously a probiotic that requires regular maintenance is commercially more viable than one that sticks around and doesn’t require a repeat as often so that may be a reason they aren’t so common: not as much money to be earned for the same effect.

    The thing I hate the most is Activia’s “B-Regularis” which is apparently just a made up marketing ploy. There’s no such thing! And loads of people are buying into it when the humble natural yogurt nearby is just as good or better! Bah!

  12. AroNet says:

    And the vaginal suppositories of Probiotics make sense for a direct contact perspective but where would you get them and/or could you just use the oral ones vaginally?</p>

    Hmmm.

  13. Lrime says:

    So I’m thinking of doing this –
    I’m not so sure about putting the probiotic caplets all up in my hoo-hah but, the come apart easily, so…

    I was going to mix them with a wee bit of yogurt and then insert that vaginally – kind of a double-whammy thing? Get the acidification of the yogurt right off the bat and then as the bacteria wakes up, hopefully a more balanced vag?

    What do you think?

  14. Hteall says:

    No flavors, no added sweeteners in the yogurt, right? Then it’s unlikely to cause a problem.

    Good luck!

  15. Lrime says:

    Definitely no sweeteners or flavors – just good ‘ol acidophilus goodness! 🙂

    Any clue how long I should keep up the treatment? I’d like it to go away for a good long while – should 5 days be enough?

  16. Hteall says:

    I’d say, aim for at least a few days after you stop feeling itchy — that way, anything that’s not-quite-gone would hopefully be beaten into the metaphoric dirt a bit longer and not come back.

    Yogurt-dip any partners you might have, too, I’d suggest. O:>

  17. Lrime says:

    Will do – thanks! It’s already feeling better today – I didn’t wake up in the middle of then night wanting to scratch.

    No partners ATM – so it’s just me and my yoghurty awesomeness… 😛

  18. Hteall says:

    Don’t forget to well-wash any toys, then. *grin* Yay for feeling better! Let’s hope this improves rapidly!

  19. Lrime says:

    Thanks so much for your help and insight!

  20. Xxemia says:

    I am in the same exact boat as you, so I know where you’re coming from! Just try to take some probiotics and eat yogurt and have you taken an antibiotic? Because that can be a definite cause!

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